Every year on Labor Day I think about all my old jobs and how far I’ve come!
My first official job was at Mazzio’s Pizza in Yukon, Oklahoma. I applied for a job there two days after my sixteenth birthday and got hired at the end of the interview. This was all the way back in the summer of 1989. Minimum wage back then was $3.35 an hour, which was my beginning wage. By the time I left minimum wage had risen to $3.85, and I was making a whopping $4/hour.
I started off washing dishes and busing tables and quickly moved to the kitchen. Although I spent a lot of time making pizzas at the make table, what I was best at was working the cutting table. Whoever works the cutting table is responsible not only for cutting the pizzas but also assembling the orders. That’s typically the person who messed up if your delivery shows up without the breadsticks or with the wrong pizza in the box.
Later I learned how to work the front counter as well. By learning how to work several different positions I found that I could get a lot of hours on the schedule. Some friends of mine and I created the “300 Club.” To be a member of the club you had to earn $300 on one single paycheck. That wasn’t easy to do while making $4/hour and going to high school, but a few of us did it.
I have no idea why I kept this shirt, or more importantly, why I still have it. (God knows it hasn’t fit me in at least 20 years!) The Mazzio’s I worked at is still there although it’s quite different inside. The arcade that once held Tetris, Turbo and a Black Knight pinball table is gone, all of the people working there are now half my age, and all of the pizzas they sell there are now twice the size. Do you remember when you could get two medium price buster pizzas from Mazzio’s for only $9.99?